27 December 2008

Barley's Redux

I have written about Barley's in previous posts. But the white truffle mac and cheese with smoked gouda, white cheddar, tomato, basil and bread crumbs was great. The Christmas Ale was mahogany colored with a rich, caramel malt character, delicate spice flavors and a delicate mouthfeel. It was delicious even two days after the holiday.

The Web site lists a number of food and drink specials during the week. I can also attest that the pierogi and beer washed onion strings are also very good (and vegetarian-approved). There are a few other vegetarian options on the menu that I haven't tried. If you wash it down with enough beer, I'm sure it should be great.


22 December 2008

German Village Coffee Shop

I made a valiant attempt to defeat the enormous line at the Thurman Cafe. Everybody else was probably there for the enormous burger, and I was the only guy there for vegetarian food. However, the wait was just too much (thanks television), so instead I slipped next door to the German Village Coffee House.

GVCH keeps breakfast joint hours--they are not open for dinner. Half of the menu or more consists of breakfast items. I'm not a big eater of breakfast cuisine. The Coffee House does have a veggie omelette. I hate eggs, so I'll leave that to a braver soul than myself.

German Village Coffee House makes grilled cheese with a choice of sides (I ordered onion rings, although fries are also available). The double-decker grilled cheese is delightful. Three griddled bread slices are covered with melted American cheese in a towering sandwich that fills the stomach for less than $7 with onion rings and a fountain drink. Coffee and juice are also available.

There aren't a tremendous amount of vegetarian choices at German Village Coffee, but the grilled cheese is definitely a winner. Considering the price and the fact that I ate in less than 20 minutes, I'll definitely go back.

German Village Coffee
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19 December 2008

Columbus Brewing Company

Despite the terribly grainy appearance of my pictures which makes it look like I had dinner near the edge of a black hole, I actually ate at Columbus Brewing Company last night. I hadn't gotten a chance to sample the menu since the place was sold by Cameron Mitchell. It can now be crossed off my list of things to do.

Columbus Brewing Company's brew pub is the flagship of the regional brewer, and the Columbus Pale Ale and 90 Shilling Ale can be found throughout the area. Although newer operations like Barley's and Elevator have stolen some of the thunder from CBC, they still offer solidly made brews. I am particularly fond of the 90 Shilling Ale, a copper colored Scotch Ale, and the 1859 Porter, an opaque, choclatey brew filled with as much smoke as character. Beer is also sold in flights that allow you to sample all of the brews without falling into a coma. Beer can also be taken home in a growler (or three) if you'd like to sample CBC's wares off-premises.

There are a couple of vegetarian appetizers. The spinach and artichoke dip is served with an herbed flatbread. It is tasty and filling. I wanted to love the barbequed plantains because I have a natural affinity to the tropical fruit, but the mushy consistency and the overly sweet sauce left me slightly underwhelmed.

The seasonal vegetable plate is an entree bathed in a balsamic reduction with a side of risotto alongside a wide variety of grilled veggies. It appears to be almost the same as it was on Mitchell's menu.

The margherita pizza was very well made. Fresh tomatoes, basil and olive oil marry perfectly atop the soft crust and bubbling cheese. The poorly lit image is above.

The new menu seems slightly scaled back from the Cameron Mitchell era. Luckily for the new owners, CBC still has the same convenient location with tons of parking.

Columbus Brewing Company doesn't offer a ton of vegetarian items. However, since the menu is more focused, they made certain to feature a few different choices for the vegetarian diner.

17 December 2008

I am a slacker

Sorry for being a slacker. I've been doing thesis work and newspaper work and moving and a numerous other activities too tedious to mention, so I didn't have time to eat and take pictures of veggie food. I swear I'll be back soon to complain about the dearth of vegetarian options on the menu or to praise the multitude of meatless eats in an unnamed restaurant in the near future, I promise.

03 December 2008

Hunan Lion

Hunan Lion is always included as part of the upper echelon of restaurants around Columbus (see: Dispatch). The combination of tasteful decor with tasty Chinese and Thai dishes garners a lot of praise for this establishment. All the acclaim is deserved based upon my experience.

The restaurant is stylishly appointed. The service is courteous. Hunan Lion offers both dine-in and take-out options. The restaurant belies its strip mall exterior with detailed wood accents, dark colors, white table cloth and Asian light fixtures alongside a photogenic fish tank.

The server informed me that all menu items that did not list meat as an ingredient in the description were in fact vegetarian. There are many vegetarian appetizers in addition to the Thai and Chinese main courses on the menu.

The sesame noodles were delicious. Hunan Lion prepares the peanut dish hot with thick noodles, cucumbers and scallions. It is rich, mildly seasoned and deeply satisfying.

My main course was the Siam tofu. It was pan fried cubes of tofu in a brown Thai chili sauce with asparagus, red peppers, green beans, onions and baby corn. The tofu was crispy and not at all greasy. The sauce is a flavorful of green herbs, hot peppers and savory balance. The vegetables were a great blend. They demonstrated a focus on flavor more than a blind adherence to tradition a la the neighborhood take-out establishment.

Hunan Lion is more expensive than the typical neighborhood Chinese joint based upon the level of service, the decor and the quality of food. It is worth the price of admission.

Hunan Lion

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